durian & the Lyon

sharing the process behind the Bowtie business

And to you Good Day…

BOWTIES!Yesterday I posted the event info, images, and event page for a Bowtie Trunk show I’m having down at Ridgway Bar & Grill this Friday. This fueled the usual panic attack spurred by realizing that people are actually going to come to something I created and I better make it awesome. I ran around the house a few times like a cat. Then got to work. I have some great Bowties in the works right now and I’m pretty excited to get them done. 
I have been in Naples, FL for a little over a month now and it has been busy. Tis the Season. I have been working a lot at Ridgway Bar & Grill serving…. I do actually love serving; its a fun multi-tasking puzzle, fast-paced, and a change of scenery. And last year, serving here is what enabled me to go home to Eugene and put 100% of my time into my business. My hope is this year, the money I make will be going into growing the business when I return to Eugene. But right now, its lots and lots of restaurant work. 

Until this week. Back to the Bowtie business. Last night, the manager asked me why I was in such a good mood. I thought about it and said, “I think its because I had the time today to actually work on my Bowties and give the business some attention. Whenever I do that, I feel most like myself. Like I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing.” So even just noticing that makes me happy. I think I was a little burned out after Holiday Market, worked like crazy and needed a little Bowtie-break. We all need breaks even from the things we love sometimes. I can be a fairly flighty person and need change in my life. Making Bowties is the longest job I have ever had as a bill-paying adult and I want to keep it. I have learned a few things over the years about how to manage myself and keep my interested in something. And obviously, still learning. 

So, I’m excited. Having a Bowtie sale. I’m going to get to work. 

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Etsy Inventory

Tweets shorts, Blog long, Facebook middle?

I’ve been seeing some pretty long FB posts lately. But I had a fairly long thing to say so I decided to get back on my blog. 

Image

So. Here’s what’s up. Today I have been organizing my inventory (or thinking about it anyway) and figuring out how to keep track of things on Etsy and in my booth when they are all for sale. I have been keeping the Freestyle Bowties that are listed on Etsy at home during Market days so I don’t double sell. Unfortunately, I haven’t been that organized with the Hair Bows. No one has bought one from Etsy yet. But I do have it in the back of my head that it is not a good idea. Also, last week I noticed a few Bowties in my booth at the UO street fair that I remembered posting on Etsy. Apparently not even that organized with those. I got a little nervous and considered pulling them, then someone bought one. (Yay!)
Then, I pulled all the Etsy Bowties into the booth for the Crafty Wonderland anticipating more traffic (and sales) there. And yeah, I sold some.
My efforts today were to include removing anything I don’t have and listing some new things. I came up with this idea of tagging anything on Etsy (see photo) and when it sells in the booth, pull the tag and remove the listing. Image
My problem with this though is that I don’t really like removing listings. People have “favorited” some items and some are in treasuries. When you remove it, all that goes away. I lose that work.
Well, while I was thinking about all of this, I decided to go get my phone to take photos and to post on the Eugene Etsy page for advice. My phone told me I had just made a sale on Etsy! Usually this is a celebration, I mean, that’s exciting! This time, panic! I hadn’t done any of that organizing yet! Ahhhh!
Please let it be something I have!!
Nope. It was not!
Please be something I can make!!
Dig Dig Dig in bags of fabric. (Yeah, I’m still in moving in mode.)
YESSS.
I still have all that fabric and can make them!! My goodness. Now the grateful dance. Both for the sale and the ability to fill the order. But goodness!! Don’t do that again.
Ok, so my debate… Keep two inventories?
Sure I can make multiples, but often the beauty of one of my Bowties is that it is NOT a multiple. Its the only one. Or small multiples.
So, I’m working on organizing.
Well, now I have to go work on making those two bows I just sold on Etsy! Ha!
Organize first!!! 
Another lesson learned!! 
(I swear, that happens every day!!)

 

 

Eugene is bringing it.

Two weeks ago I went out of town. I always feel like going out of town gives a person great perspective on life, and living in Eugene, you really need that. I find that living in this valley, I sometimes get closed minded, or stuck in my own small life. 

People often ask me why I live here. And I have an answer, its just not very definite, but true.
I feel like Eugene always gives when I’m in need. Whenever a door closes, an unexpected one opens. I’m just constantly baffled by Eugene and why I’m still here, but have yet to have an urge to leave.

On this recent out of town visit, I was with family. I felt that support and love you only get from family and your best friends. When I came home, to Eugene, I remembered all my closest friends, my family away from family, were all gone, moved away. I was worried about coming home, and I said to Eugene: “If you want me to stay, you better bring it, or I’m out.” Yeah, it was a threat of sorts.
But hey, IT WORKED.
Eugene, as always, is bringing it. Its giving me what I need. I’m here and I love it. Keep it coming Eugene! You are a magical place and I’m here as long as you’ll have me.
Thank You. 

I’ve got the Blues. (And I’m sold out of Blue Bowties)

Alright Alright.
Talk it out. 

This is an essential part to having your own creative business.
Sharing it is one step further.
So honestly, I’ve been pretty bummed the past week. Why? I have been struggling to figure it out. I had a pretty amazing Street Fair last week, 3 record setting sales in a row. And it was a blast, selling Bowties is really fun. I came home every night and made more so I could sell them the next day. I was addicted. On fire. And then I came down. The party ended. I thought it would keep going. You see, I have the Holiday Market to get ready for and not a lot of time. I would like that fire under my butt to stay lit. But it died. Big time. And I fought it for a while: the old being upset because I’m upset thing gets me no where. Makes me more blue. Today, I think I actually took the day off I needed, went to yoga, did the IChing, went to the Thrift store for fun, ran into an old friend and had a drink at 3:00 in the afternoon. Talked. Relaxed. Laughed.
And I think I figured a few things out. Not major fixers, but I don’t think that’s the point.
I work a lot. Bowties and my business are on my mind most of the time. It’s confusing to me that I get so sad because I feel like I’ve been working towards what I want for so long and this is the closest I’ve ever gotten. So what gives, man? I’ve realize having your own creative business actually very lonely, not that there is much to do about it because honestly I like owning my work, all of it. But maybe there’s parts I want others involved in. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a person who prefers a large amount of alone time. I need it. But I find that when I have a success to celebrate, no one else understands. Other people may be excited, supportive, but I’m the one in the inside who knows what went in to that success. And it was ALOT of stinkin’ work. Why did I do it? Where did that come from? Sometimes I don’t really understand my motivations myself, but I know I’m proud of myself. I know I worked hard and I appreciate that.
There’s another sad piece that might sound quite silly. Its sort of sad to sell the things I make. Yeah yeah, isn’t that my whole business plan? Alright let me explain. I put a lot of effort into my Bows, not just physical, but there is a creative part that  I do get excited about. And I love them. I get attached. I love selling them too because I love seeing other people get excited about them and actually using them. But I have found that I get a bit drained after selling a lot, and its weird. Miss Jillian Jigs figured it out at a young age with her Wonderful Pigs. And I know it, but I do it anyway, its what I want to do. It might be a pleaser tendency, wanting to make people happy. Also slightly self-serving. Something about it.
I’m an artist, always tried to deny it, thought I wasn’t cool enough. But I’ve got the dang moods of an artist so I’ll go with it.
By explaining this, putting it out there, I in no way want to seem like I’m complaining or trying to victimize myself. I’m trying to process it myself and maybe even clarify or share with anyone else who has a similar feeling. Who knows? I don’t think I’m crazy, I’m a human who feels a lot.
I’m trying to take a break so I can jump back in.
There’s sooooooo much I want to do. 

Just Thought of my Answer


This morning, some ladies from Flux Magazine came to my studio and did a little video of me working and an interview. Pretty fun, new experience. Exciting.
There is, however, one question that I just thought of my answer to. I answered it, and I think it was an honest and true answer earlier, but the one I have now seems more accurate to me.

The question was “What do you like most about the Saturday Market/ Saturday Market Community?”

My answer earlier was about the connection to other artists who spend their lives alone in their studios and we come together for this common purpose and have a feeling of understanding and compassion towards each other. This is true. I do feel that. But I’m not hugely connected to many people in the Market scene. Its growing, but for me, making friends, and more importantly creating a support network, takes a very long time. So I know that exists with the Market scene and perhaps someday I’ll get there. For now, beginning stages.

But another reason I enjoy the Saturday Market and what I am doing now, selling Bowties, is still the social aspect, in a slightly different way. I can meet people through their willingness to approach me, and all I have to do is bring my art, my vision.  As an extremely shy person I have a really hard meeting new people. Even in the mornings at Saturday Market, in the hang out time, I have a hard time approaching someone I don’t know. But its the fact that I’m there for a reason, and with a purpose that I am a proud of, that makes me feel more confidant. Folks come into my booth, excited and full of praise, and I don’t feel shy. I feel proud of what I am doing, what I make and I enjoy bringing it out in public. I enjoy sharing the experience with fellow vendors and I enjoy the feedback I get from customers. I feel fed.

So there’s a tid bit of an answer, quickly thought through.
Just wanted to put it out there.
Thanks.

My Business the Teenager

Starting a business is like raising a child. Not that I’ve raised a child, but I’ve seen it done.

My business is currently a teenager. An young teenager learning financial responsibility and experiencing growing pains. 

We (Bowties & I) are leaning that the money the business brings in is not all for fun & play. I remember my first market day when the Bowties made over $200. I celebrated. Went shopping, bought lots of new fabric. But the business needs things and I (“Mom”) can no longer support it out of my own pocket (once I get better on discipline). It needs to start supporting itself. Paying its own rent. Buying its own fabric. (Which, honestly, is a fine line between personal and business). 

Raven in Red We are parent and teenager adjusting to this new phase. Learning new skills. 

And the business is becoming more demanding, like a teenager. No longer content to dress in the clothes I put on it, developing its own style based on what people buy. Mom has to pay attention and nurture a happy, healthy teenager by listening to what it wants. 

It has growing pains like when the young human’s body physically grows faster in some areas than others, and grows faster than the brain can keep up with.  Timing is a little off. And being one person, I have to decide on which aspects to nurture first to best meet the demands of my child. I’m a single parent, just trying to figure it all out. 

And while this is difficult and new, the rewards are amazing. Comparable to what I imagine it is like having a fine young person around that you have molded and nurtured out of your own skin. Feeling pride at their successes. Seeing the huge potential for greatness in this thing you have done. The satisfaction of the work is my favorite job experience in my life.

I have so much to learn and so much room to grow although already, through childhood, I have learned so much. As a new parent who had no idea how to raise a child, I jumped in. We made it through the beginning. Started. It has momentum. My business, my beautiful young teenager, has so much potential. 

Red Review & On to Orange


Well goodness, time sure is moving along quickly.
Today (tonight, NOW) is the New Moon, thus moving on to Orange Month.
Before I fully enter Orange Month, I would like to reflect on Red Month. A bit later than I wanted, but I’m still working on this blogging thing.

I’ve put a Red treasury on Etsy:

You can view it here.

A few thoughts on Red from this past month….
Red is the color of Love & Passion. It is the color of the root chakra. Also a primary color.
Thus, Red must be a Very Important Color. Very powerful. All shades of Red.
Are we rooted in Love? In Red?
“Seeing Red”, being angry… doesn’t this stem from Love as well?
Does it all come from Red?
The beginning of the Rainbow….
And where do we go from here?

And now, a recap of Red Day through Photos….

The Chicks came and celebrated red day by hanging out on a Red Towel under a Red light.

Red Lunch: Red Beans, Pink Rice, Red Lentils, Salsa, Seasoned ground Pork, Red Lettuce, Radishes, Red Pepper, Red Onions, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Red Rooibos Tea.


Yes, the plate sort of looked Brown in the end, but it was all a variation of Red.

Enjoying the Red Lunch with Charlotte…

Red Salad….

Whirlwind of a Red Day….

And in the evening, I made Red Bowties.

(dangit, I can’t figure out how to rotate this guy)

Red Month did include Valentine’s Day. I did not totally intend this, thought about avoiding it, but then decided to go with it. So my Red Bowties were appropriate for the Crafty Underdog event on Feb 12 where I had a booth. AND this month I also came across a new man (or two). This is Pete modeling not one, but two, red Bowties. He looked fantastic. (More about them later… they are endless entertainment)

Stay tuned for Orange Month, news about Pete & Lebron, my new studio (yeah, I’m moving) & a tutorial on how I make Bowties.
Wow, I better get to work.
Thanks for being here!!

Bowties Dreams & Chickens.

Oh its Friday. 
I missed last Sunday.
That’s Ok. Things have been a bit crazy. I have felt like a server in the middle of a crazy rush who just got sat two more tables. There’s the feeling of panic coupled by the awareness that panic won’t help anything and the only solution is to keep your head on and put one foot in front of the other.
Coffee, Bar, Order Food, Take Order, Clear Table, Check….
Oh my God, they want three cappuccinos…
Bowties, Bowties, Marche, Bowties, Waldorf Class, Bowties….
Check, Please.
I suppose this is where the now cliché saying “Keep Calm and Carry On” comes from.
I didn’t want to say it.
Just do what you have to do.
Growing up, I had a “Goals” poster on my wall. It was one of those inspirational posters you can now buy in the Sky Mall. It did, apparently, inspire me though as I still repeat the saying almost daily. It said: “Goals. First Ask Yourself What You Want, Then Do What You Have To Do.” For a long time, I Struggled (yes, I intended the capital S) with “What do I want???”
Now, I feel like I know what I want and I just have to do what I have to do.
And its a lot.
But I take comfort in knowing that I am, in fact, doing something.
My dreaminess is coming down to Earth, a bit.
I almost moved to a new studio this week. It was a beautiful fantasy that, at this moment, I realized is unrealistic, but I’m so excited for it to happen someday. Durian & the Lyon will have its own place. A beautiful, open to the public Studio. I will host events, like the new genius idea “Bowties & Bottles”, and perhaps even host a monthly Anthroposophical Study Group. I lived in that fantasy for a bit, until I realized the reality of Moving & Up-rooting would be terribly unproductive right now and the added expense would probably crush me.
I gave my new table to another server. Sometimes, that’s just necessary for sanity.
So, it remains a dream in the ether. Yet to see its time on Earth. Soon though.
For now, I have a lot to focus on.
Durian & the Lyon will be in two events on Valentine’s weekend.
I, Kelly, will be at The Crafty Underdog in Portland.
http://thecraftyunderdog.com/

And Bowties will be on their own in Creswell, OR at Hummingbird’s Valentine’s Vendor Showcase. 
http://greeneyedgirl.services.officelive.com/Hummingbirds.aspx
I’m making some Red (it is red month after all) and Pink Bowties as well as “Romantic” Bowties with more elegant fabrics and softer colors. There will also be wool Bowties at both as I’m still finishing up nearly 30 of them.
In other news, I have 25 fancy day old chicks arriving on Monday. Ohhhh Boy Chickens!
They are going to look Awesome with Bowties on.
When they’re older of course.

Getting Started…

Good Day.

I’m sitting in my “office” amongst piles of mess, to do lists, scraps of papers with scribbled out goals, and (I was just interrupted as a rolled of fabric slipped on to the key board and pushed “Enter” for about 5 pages until I could tell what was going on). Well, I’m thinking about these goals, resolutions you can call them, that I have made for 2012. I’m trying to be patient, gentle on myself and recognize that it is only January 22.
I have indeed been making steps (Today, I bought a three hole punch!) but it takes a long time to reform habits. Make new habits.
With all of the little goals that I have made (I have yet to record all of these goals in one place), the over arching goal is Follow Through. I am working towards realizing more of my long-lasting dreams.
Things are going to happen.
This Bowtie Business will Blossom.

First on the list to report, I’m excited to say, is the beginning of The Rainbow Year. Tonight, Sunday January 22, is the first New Moon of the year, thus kicking off my Rainbow plan.
Let me tell you about it.
Each month (governed by Moon cycles, not the calendar) will feature a new color. Beginning on the New Moon, I will wax into the color. Begin thinking about it, what it means, the mood. Experience ‘RED’ (or the respective color of the month). Make Red art (Bowties.) On the Full Moon of each cycle will be the Color’s Day when I (and anyone else who would like to join) will wear and eat all of the same color. Basque in the Color. After the Full Moon will be about reflection as we wan away until the next New Moon when the color changes.
I look forward to this color study process as well as being more in tune with the lunar cycle.
Perhaps I will get the dates up somewhere in a calendar on my website (Which is also a work in progress. Goal.)
Looking Ahead….February 7: Red Day

(Posting something here at least once a week is among the many little goals I have made. I’m hoping that through this practice, my writing will improve and my comfort with sharing will grow as do the people who actually read this.)

Thank You.
Good Bye.